The Death of Kobe Bryant

Today (26 Jan 2020) there was shocking news from California. Basketball star Kobe Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash. Bryant was born on 23 August 1978 in Philadelphia. The time of birth is not independently verified but one source gives it as 5 pm EDT, Rodden rating C. Here is the 5 pm birth chart in the tropical zodiac with Placidus houses.

In judging death we would consider the 8th house, its ruler and occupants; the 12th house of dissolution, limitation and loss; and the 4th house of final endings and the grave. If this 5 pm chart is accurate, the 8th house is ruled by the Sun and contains Mercury, the Sun and Saturn. The Sun has dignity only by decan (face). Both Saturn and Mercury are totally without essential dignity and is thus peregrine. In addition, Saturn is combust the sun. The lack of essential dignity and the presence of malefic Saturn in the 8th raise the possibility of a shorter than average life span. The conjunction of 9th whole sign ruler Mercury with the 8th Placidus cusp is consistent with death related to air travel. The conjunction of 4th ruler (Mars by whole sign, Venus by quadrant house) with Pluto could symbolize some type of violence at the end of life.

Now let us consider the solar return for the current year. Here is the natal 5 pm chart with the solar return at the birthplace superimposed.

In the combined chart, we see that transiting Saturn, South Node and Pluto are in the natal 1st house rising toward the Ascendant, suggesting that themes related to these planets will be a major focus during the year. Saturn rules the natal Ascendant and occupies the natal 8th house. Solar return Mars almost exactly conjoins natal Saturn in the 8th house. Mars is his out-of-sect malefic in the natal chart, so its aspects can be particularly difficult. SR Mercury, which rules the natal 9th whole sign, conjoins the natal 8th cusp in the return chart. SR Venus, which rules the natal 9th Placidus cusp, conjoins natal Saturn in the natal 8th house, again linking 8th house matters with the 9th house of air travel.

We should also consider the profected Ascendant. At age 41 Bryant’s profected Ascendant lies in the sign Gemini, ruled by Mercury. Gemini is both the 6th whole sign and the 6th Placidus house, thus issues of bodily injury become a major theme for the year. Natal Mercury at the cusp of the 8th house raises the possibility of death from such injuries. In addition, the SR Ascendant is closely conjunct SR Jupiter which rules the natal 12th house.

If we consider primary directions, the Venus term/bound of Pisces has risen to the horizon at age 41 so that his “distributor” or “divisor” for this period is Venus, which is partnered by the Sun, ruler of the natal 8th house of death because the opposition of the Sun from the natal 8th Placidus house has risen to the horizon most recently before the bound of Venus. SR Venus conjoins natal Saturn and SR Mars in the natal 8th this year, again raising the risk of death.

Regarding primary directions, we see the following calculated by Placidus semi-arc with the Naibod key, with and without latitude:

He began the year with the opposition of Saturn coming to the Ascendant by primary direction. This is especially prominent because Saturn rules the natal Ascendant, and the SR Saturn occupies the natal first house during this solar return year. The period when the Ascendant ruler opposes the Ascendant usually indicates potential harm to the physical body through illness or injury.

If we look at Bryant’s chart from a Hindu perspective with the Lahiri ayanamsa, we see the following:

Sidereal chart with Lahirii ayanamsa

In the sidereal chart Sagittarius rises. On the date of the helicopter crash the Vimshottari dasa is Rahu/Saturn/Saturn/Saturn. Rahu lies in the 10th sign from the Lagna with the Placidus 9th cusp (air travel). Rahu is disposed by Mercury, which rules the 7th sign from the Lagna, so Mercury is a maraka or killer planet. Saturn rules the 2nd sign from the Lagna and is also a maraka or killer planet. Thus, the crash occurs during a period when both marakas are activated in the Vimshottari dasa system. In addition, Saturn occupies the 9th sign from the Lagna where the 8th Placidus cusp also resides. In the Chara dasa (KN Rao version), Bryant is running a Leo/Leo period. Leo is the 9th sign from the Lagna and contains the maraka Saturn and the cusp of the Placidus 8th house cusp.

Even though the 5 pm birth time has not yet been verified by other sources, the chart it produces is consistent with the potential for death in his 41st year.

Addendum (27 Jan 2020): in a comment, Patrick Ross pointed out the true lunar nodes in this year’s solar return are stationary and turning direct. I have repeatedly found that when the true nodes are stationary at the time of the solar return, the individual has a year marked by dramatic changes and unexpected events. In Koby Bryant’s solar return for the date of the helicopter accident, the true nodes are not only stationary but they are closely conjunct the Placidus 2nd/8th house axis and they fall in the whole sign 2nd and 8th houses, which have to do with the native’s mortality. The South Node (Ketu) is not only stationary but it also conjoins and lies between two cruel planets, Saturn and Pluto.

An aside: I believe there is an error in the birth data in AstroDataBank ( regarding Kobe Bryant’s birthplace. All the sources I haved checked state that he was born in Philadelphia (39n57, 75w10) but lists the birth place as Harrisburg (40n16, 76w53). The confusion appears to have resulted from the fact that Harrisburg is both a separate city from Philadelphia and that there is a suburb of Philadelphia named Harrisburg. Kobe grew up in the suburb of the city of Philadelphia which is named Lower Merion. Changing the birth location from Harrisburg to Philadelphia gives him an ascendant of about 9 Capricorn 51, rather than the one listed at

Addendum 28 Jan 2020: Here is the chart for the time and place the helicopter took off (according to news reports) superimposed on Kobe’s natal chart.

At the time of take-off, transiting Mars was conjunct natal Neptune near the cusp of the natal 12th house. This position was also emphasized in the solar return chart. Transiting Jupiter, which rules the SR Ascendant and is in its fall in Capricorn, is conjunct the transiting South Node and the natal Ascendant. At the same time natal Jupiter is opposed by the transiting Saturn/Pluto conjunction in Capricorn (Jupiter’s fall). The poor condition of Jupiter may explain was Jupiter rising in the solar return was not protective enough to prevent this tragedy. Transiting Uranus is closely conjunct the natal 4th cusp, warning of sudden unexpected disruption. The transiting nodes, which are malefic, lies almost exactly across the horizon axis. Also noteworthy is that on 10 Jan 2020 there was a lunar eclipse across the 20th degree of Cancer/Capricorn, which activated the transiting Saturn/Pluto opposition to natal Jupiter.

About Anthony Louis

Author of books about astrology and tarot, including TAROT PLAIN AND SIMPLE, HORARY ASTROLOGY, and THE ART OF FORECASTING WITH SOLAR RETURNS.
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11 Responses to The Death of Kobe Bryant

  1. Patrick Ross says:

    The SR moon nodes just turned direct, another indication of a year with major changes.

  2. Thanks, Patrick. I had intended but forgot to mention the solar return nodes in the post. The first thing I usually look at in a solar return is the moon’s true nodes because when they are stationary in the solar return, the year is is almost always one of major changes or dramatic events. I will add the solar return as an individual chart to the post so that readers can see what you are talking about.

  3. Lulu says:

    One can also clearly see the unfortunate involvement of Kobe’s daughter in the horrid crash. SR Venus ruling his natal 5th is in the natal 8th conjunct SR Mars and Natal Saturn, square SR Moon in the natal 5th. Natal Moon in the 4th is also tightly opposite natal Uranus, while natal Venus is in the 9th with Pluto and Mars. Alas, the cusp of his natal 5th is near Algol (fires?) and Alcyone (weeping sisters).

    Interestingly, natal Sun and Mercury, both ruling the 8th, had their return into natal position and the 8th house around the same time. Isn’t this something Morin had suggested as a possible indication of death in Solar returns?

    I still fail to understand how his exalted, angular natal Jupiter and SR Jupiter in domicile on the SR ascendant failed to protect him.

  4. Hi Lulu, Your point about the daughter is well taken. What a terrible tragedy for this family!
    Regarding the SR Jupiter on the Asc in Sagittarius, normally Jupiter would be very protective, but the SR must always be read in the context of the natal chart. SR Jupiter on the SR Ascendant is closely conjunct natal Neptune (fog, confusion, dissolution) and the natal 12th Placidus cusp, so that 12th house issues dominate the year. The 12th rules matters such as loss, mourning, isolation, confinement, journeys to distant places, and the final liberation of the soul from the body at the end of life. The protective aspect of Jupiter may have been that death came rather instantaneously without undue suffering. The prominence of natal Neptune may be related to the extreme foggy meteorological conditions at the time of the crash.

    If the solar return is read in isolation from the natal chart, it can be misleading. Reading the return in the context of the natal chart (here with the SR ASC and Jupiter putting extreme stress on Neptune and the 12th cusp) gives a clear indication of an important factor (extreme fog, cloudiness or confusion being tied to some type of loss or limiting circumstance) during the year.

  5. Jon says:

    It wasn’t mentioned but I have been finding it more and more. (Natal Pluto transiting Mercury exact degree) and (Transiting Pluto natal Mercury exact degree). Time and place of event and Time and place of birth. Is there a study for the name of this quasi effect?

  6. Hi Jon, I’m not familiar with a study about this configuration. Maybe another reader can post a comment about it.

  7. Jon says:

    The psychology of X17 particle and horary is the question? Thanks I’ll find it.

  8. Patrick Ross says:

    Hi Anthony, recent articles on the primary direction and the impeachment process and recent influenza outbreak triggered an idea to check the SR 2019 chart of the USA (2:14am used). Interesting that the SR nodes are direct and near exact conjunction/opposition with SR Saturn. With the SR – Asc, Saturn and Pluto in the 8th House (Reg. Houses). SR Mc (6H) opp. SR Uranus (12H) seems appropriate. I have not looked at China or other countries but certainly 2019 is interesting for the USA. As mentioned in a previous comment D. Trump will also have SR Moon nodes changing in 2020.

  9. Ron Squibbs says:

    Hi Tony, very interesting blog post: thanks for sharing it. One question: at the end of the second paragraph, when you refer to the 4th ruler Mars conjunct Pluto, did you perhaps mean 4th ruler Venus (which is also conjunct Pluto)? The cusp of the 4th house is in Taurus.

    • Hi Ron, good to hear from you. I clarified the text. Mars is 4th rule by whole sign and Venus is 4th ruler by quadrant house, so the 4th ruler conjoins Pluto in either case.

      • Amy Liu says:

        Hi Anthony, I am trying reach you, I sent you a message on Facebook. I hope to hear from you soon! Thank you!! =)

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